[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/SouthPark http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/e5720b7d30ca684a67c00703df8319d8.jpg]]]]

''This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.''

->''"Really? I thought water-walking, bisexual, bullet dodging vampires were a regular occurrence these days."''
-->-- [[http://lparchive.org/Metal-Gear-Solid-2-(Screenshot)/Update%201/ LP Archive, on the Metal Gear Solid 2 disclaimer]].

Some form of this disclaimer can be found at the front of nearly every novel out there as well as in the credits of most films and TV episodes. It's an attempt to stave off libel suits; it seems to have originated as a response to a suit against the makers of the 1932 film ''Rasputin and the Empress'' by a Russian princess who believed one of the characters to have been modeled on her.[[note]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Yusupov More precisely Princess Irina of Russia, the only niece of the last tsar, who was married to Rasputin's murderer, Prince Felix Yusupov]] [[/note]] Think of it as the more professional equivalent of IDoNotOwn, though with more legal force.[[note]]IDoNotOwn admits that the characters, etc. portrayed are someone else's intellectual property and used without permission: it's basically saying "It's UsefulNotes/FairUse because I don't pretend it's mine" and it doesn't do much legally. This trope has nothing to do with intellectual property, and it's basically saying "if some of this seems RippedFromTheHeadlines, it wasn't intentional", so it has more legal significance.[[/note]]

[[labelnote:Minor historical footnote]]It's of some note that ''Rasputin and the Empress'' had the following text at the beginning of the movie: "This concerns the destruction of an empire ... A few of the characters are still alive—the rest met death by violence." In other words, it pretty much claimed that "Much of what follows is true." A justice involved in the UK libel case pointed out that MGM would have had a better chance if they had incorporated the ''direct opposite'': a disclaimer that the film was not intended as an accurate portrayal of real people or events. And thus was a standard piece of legal boilerplate born.[[/labelnote]]

Sometimes this disclaimer is [[BlatantLies the only part of the movie that's fiction]], especially when [[HistoricalDomainCharacter the real people in question lived long enough ago that they're not going to sue anybody]]. (And sometimes publishers make the mistake of putting it in books openly BasedOnATrueStory; e.g., the [[http://www.nizkor.org/features/denial-of-science/schindler-04.html first printing of the Touchstone paperback edition]] of ''Film/SchindlersList''.) Works BasedOnATrueStory may use a modified disclaimer, acknowledging the historical basis for the work but stating that it doesn't necessarily conform 100% to history.

Although not a DeadUnicornTrope, this can easily be mistaken for one by the unobservant. When played straight, the disclaimer is generally buried amid a bunch of similar legalese (at the end of the credits or on the copyright page of the book, for example) where it might be easily missed. More playful versions are generally given much more prominent placement, so everyone can recognize how clever the creators are being, though subtle modifications of the phrase "persons living or dead" may be easily missed by less alert viewers.

If a work uses WriteWhoYouKnow, the issue will probably be avoided.

A SubTrope of OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope.

Compare NoCelebritiesWereHarmed, NoCommunitiesWereHarmed.

Contrast DanBrowned, where you have a work of fiction that the author tries to pass off as true or accurate.

Compare and contrast NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer which often includes a list of which parts the author is making up.

Do not confuse with the... [[http://armorgames.com/play/11103/this-is-a-work-of-fiction unusual game]] which shares a name with this trope. Or with any form of PostModernism.
!!(As the disclaimer itself is ubiquitous, only parodies, [[BasedOnATrueStory inversions]], InUniverse examples and the like should be listed)
!!Interesting uses:

* Used as WeaselWords (Implying it is a fiction when it is actually a fact) with sex toys and the like, which often have "for entertainment only" or "for novelty use", in the advertisement despite being obviously for and functional as what it looks like they are for. This is to cover the company legally. Some places in the United States and elsewhere have laws against the sale of these products, but this gives the company the legal standing of saying "It's all for fun. What the customer ''actually does'' with it is their own business."

* It's repurposed in ''The Melancholy of LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''; the SOS movie includes a version of it so that [[TheOmnipotent Haruhi]] won't inadvertently make everything in the movie real.
--> '''Haruhi:''' This story is a work of fiction. All character names, organizations, incidents and any other names, phenomena and such, are fictional as well. It's all made up. Even if it resembles someone, it's probably just a coincidence. Oh, except for the commercials! Shop at Omori Electronics and Yamatsuchi Model Shop for great deals. Stop by and buy! Huh? I gotta say it again? This story is a work of fiction. All character names, organizations, incidents and any other names... Hey Kyon! [[LockedOutOfTheLoop Why do I have to say all this stuff anyway? I mean, it's totally obvious.]]
* ''Anime/OccultAcademy'' ends with this: (translated to English) This program is a work of fiction. Departed Spirits, Psychic Abilities, Aliens, UMA's, etc., do not exist.
* ''Anime/PaniPoniDash''. After Himeko presses a button on Ichijou's back at the end of an episode [[JidaiGeki set entirely in the Edo period]] and blows up a building labelled "[[Creator/SquareEnix Squ Eni]]": "This program is pure fiction. Resemblances to people that existed, organizations, the Edo period, Pani Poni, Pani Poni Dash!, etc... are all coincidental"
* ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'' has a different disclaimer at the end of each episode, always related to the plot of the episode and always a SuspiciouslySpecificDenial.
-->"This programme is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to the real Plan to Turn Humanity Into Livestock, Ozeki or UsefulNotes/CheGuevara is purely coincidental."
::In the last episode they go so far as to claim that any similarity with their own show is purely coincidental. [[WidgetSeries Given the type]] [[MindScrew of show this is]], [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs they're not far off]].
* ''Anime/NightRaid1931'', which is set in China in 1931 and deals in a great part with the events leading up to the UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar, has one such disclaimer at the end of every episode. Unlike most anime that use this trope, this one is deadly serious, considering that [[WrittenByTheWinners historical revisionism of World War II]] is a ''very'' touchy subject in East Asia.
-->''"This is a work of fiction. Although it is based on real historical events, the characters have been created for the sake of this story. We are not trying to present a new interpretation of the era and its events."''
:: This is pretty gutsy from a series that in fact goes against the popular (in Japan) interpretation by not ignoring Japan's role in what happened and presenting it as a bad thing.
* ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'': "This work of fiction is not intended as an accurate historical portrayal... LIKE YOU GIVE A %#@&!"

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'', Spider Jerusalem starts watching porn based around his persona, preceded by this disclaimer: "This is a work of fiction not intended to represent anyone living, dead or [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial writing a weekly column for a newspaper.]]"
* ''ComicBook/TheBooksOfMagic III'' has: "This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of [[TheFairFolk the fairy folk]], whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof."
** Creator/NeilGaiman is fond of doing this. The collected edition of ''ComicBook/TheBooksOfMagic'' has this:
--->''This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any real people (living, dead, or stolen by fairies), or to any real animals, gods, witches, countries and events (magical or otherwise), is just blind luck, or so we hope.''
* [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel UK's]] ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' and ''WesternAnimation/CountDuckula'' comics disclaim any resemblance to persons "living, dead, or undead".
* As does Eric Powell's ''ComicBook/TheGoon'', published by Dark Horse.
* ''ComicBook/PrinceOfPersiaTheGraphicNovel'' has the usual kind of disclaimer but with more colorful wording:
-->The following legends of princes and prophets, gardens and graves, water and fire, will not be found in books of history. Any resemblances to real people, places, or events may be blamed on the vivid imagination of the reader.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8694364/1/Chuck-Versus-the-C-G-I-Chuck-6-03 Chuck Versus the CGI]]'', Series/{{Chuck}} encounters [[spoiler:the Roarkbot, an AI modeled after Season 2 villain [[Creator/ChevyChase Ted Roark]],]] at a computer animation studio. When [[spoiler:the Roarkbot]] reveals the 4,000 identical female [=AIs=] he's going to send out to wreak havoc on the Internet, one guy asks [[ActorAllusion if they all look like]] [[spoiler:[[Film/NationalLampoonsVacation Beverly D'Angelo]]]]. [[spoiler:The Roarkbot]] replies, "If you say so. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental."

[[folder:Film — Animated]]
* ''FreeBirds'' starts with a disclaimer that goes: "The following film is a work of fiction. It is loosely based on historical events and is in no way meant to be historically accurate. Except for the talking turkeys. That part is totally real."
* In ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'', Gru is reading a storybook he wrote to the three girls. When Agnes points out that the kittens in the story look like the three of them, he denies the correlation.
--> ''"What? These are kittens! [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial Any relation to persons living or dead is completely coincidental.]]"''

[[folder:Film – Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' has a standard disclaimer, but ends it with "...so there!"
* Inverted in the 1969 film ''Film/{{Z}}'', which satirizes the military dictatorship ruling Greece at that time. It has this notice: "Any resemblance to actual events, to persons living or dead, is not the result of chance. It is DELIBERATE."
* ''Film/TheThreeStooges'' short "Film/YouNaztySpy" claims that "Any resemblance between the characters in this picture and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle."
** The sequel,"[[Recap/TheThreeStoogesIllNeverHeilAgain I'll Never Heil Again]]" has a similar intro: "The characters in this picture are fictitious. [[ThoseWackyNazis Anyone resembling them]] is better off dead."
* The disclaimer in ''Film/AnAmericanWerewolfInLondon'' notes the fictional status of all characters "living, dead, or ''undead''". The {{remake}} of ''Film/{{Dawn of the Dead|2004}}'' did the same thing.
* ''Film/FiveHundredDaysOfSummer'' begins with the standard disclaimer, and then appends, "[[EspeciallyZoidberg Especially]] [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial you, Jenny Beckman.]] [[ThisisforemphasisBITCH Bitch]]."
* ''Film/TheGreatDictator'' begins with the notice: "Any resemblance between Hynkel the dictator and the Jewish barber is purely co-incidental". (They are played by the same actor.) The movie is very clearly and emphatically a parody and satire of UsefulNotes/NaziGermany, and the {{subverted}} disclaimer only underlines how it's completely unapologetic and unsubtle about it.
* ''Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie'' combines this with NoAnimalsWereHarmed to get "The story, names, characters and incidents portrayed in this production are real. Some goats, pigs, and sheep were nuked during the original photography of some operations."
* Subverted in an epilogue to the 1931 ''Film/{{Dracula|1931}}''. Edward Van Sloan (Van Helsing in the film) speaks directly to the audience, giving them what ''sounds'' like a reassuring message about the fictitious nature of the preceding film... until he gets to the kicker: "There ''are'' such things as vampires!" Sadly, this epilogue was cut from the film's 1936 re-release (for fear of offending religious groups), and [[MissingEpisode is now lost]].
* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' has the regular "accidental and unintentional" message... but follows it up with "Signed [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Richard M. Nixon]]".
* In the low-budged LDS film ''Sons of Provo'' (a ripoff of ''Film/ThisIsSpinalTap''), the film ends with the disclaimer "Everyone in this film is based on someone the creators know, so if you know the filmmakers at all, you're probably in this film. So sue us." It's probably the only genuinely funny moment in the film.
* ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'' has an interesting variation: The film specifically states that ''according to the US and Soviet governments'', [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial nothing that you are about to see in the film ever happened]].
* The Creator/LaurelAndHardy feature ''Block-Heads'' has a message from Stan and Ollie reading "The events and character depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. And similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not our fault!"
* ''Film/TheReturnOfTheLivingDead'' opens with a disclaimer stating that the events of the film are ''not'' fiction. Given that the movie is about brain-eating zombies, this is of course blatant lies.
* ''Film/AnchormanTheLegendOfRonBurgundy'' has the disclaimer "[[BlatantLies The film you are about to see is based on real events.]] Only the names, locations, and events have been changed."
* The 1966 sci-fi movie ''Thunderbirds are GO!'' (TheMovie of ''Series/{{Thunderbirds}}'') ends with the disclaimer: "None of the characters appearing in this photoplay intentionally resemble any persons living or dead... since they do not yet exist!"
* ''Film/TheAndromedaStrain'' starts with this on-screen message:
This film concerns the four-day history of a major American scientific crisis.\\
We received the generous help of many people attached to Project Scoop at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Wildfire Laboratory in Flatrock, Nevada. They encouraged us to tell the story accurately and in detail. \\
The documents presented here are soon to be made public. They do not in any way jeopardize the national security.

[[folder:Image Boards]]
* The infamous /b/ board on 4chan has one of these:
-->The stories and information posted here are artistic works of fiction and falsehood.
-->Only a fool would take anything posted here as fact.
* The German Krautchan includes a bilingual disclaimer after the site was [[NewMediaAreEvil featured in the news]].

* ''Literature/NoMoreDeadDogs'' has a disclaimer that goes (something like), "This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons or dogs proves you have some strange friends."
* ''Literature/AmericanGods'' has a long version of the disclaimer, including discussion of precisely how real certain locations discussed in the book are, and ending "Furthermore, it goes without saying that all the people, living, dead and otherwise in this story are fictional or used in a fictional context. Only the gods are real."
* Creator/CarlHiaasen has a tendency to start his books this way.
** ''Sick Puppy'' has:
--->This is a work of fiction. All names and characters are either invented or used fictitiously. To the best of the author's knowledge, there is no such licensed product as a Double-Jointed Vampire Barbie, nor is there a cinematic portrayal thereof.\\
However, while most events described in this book are imaginary, the dining habits of the common bovine dung beetle are authentically represented.
** ''Literature/SkinnyDip'' explains:
--->This is a work of fiction. All names and characters are either invented or used fictitiously. The events described are mostly imaginary, except for the destruction of the Florida Everglades and the $8 billion effort to save what remains.
* Creator/KurtVonnegut had a standard parody of this, as exemplified in ''Bagombo Snuff Box'':
-->As in my other works of fiction: All persons living and dead are purely coincidental, and should not be construed. No names have been changed in order to protect the innocent. Angels protect the innocent as a matter of Heavenly routine.
* ''Literature/AHeartbreakingWorkOfStaggeringGenius'' by Dave Eggers has the anti-disclaimer:
-->"Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be plainly apparent to them and those who know them, especially if the author has been kind enough to have provided their real names and, in some cases, their phone numbers. All events described herein actually happened, though on occasion the author has taken certain, very small, liberties with chronology, because that is his right as an American."
* Creator/EdgarPangborn's [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]] novel ''Davy'' has a disclaimer by the author to the effect that:
-->The characters in this book are fictional in a limited sense, i.e. they haven't been born yet.
* ''Literature/DirkGentlysHolisticDetectiveAgency'' claims that it bears no resemblance to any people "...living, dead, or wandering the night in ghostly torment."
* Each book in the ''Literature/EightySeventhPrecinct'' series features the following disclaimer (which is partly a shout-out to ''Dragnet''):
-->The city in these pages is imaginary. The people, the places are all fictitious. Only the police routine is based on established investigatory technique.
* Subverted in Creator/MichaelCrichton's ''Literature/{{Next}}'', an AuthorTract about the dangers of genetic engineering loosely based on some real events.
--> ''"This novel is fiction, except for the parts that aren't."''
* A novel involving, among other things, ''the author having the Virgin Mary as a house guest'' has -- in small print, on the flyleaf -- "this novel is a work of fiction". Except that Mary and the author explicitly discuss the fact that the author would never be able to publish it as truth.
--> '''Mary''' (paraphrasing): You could publish it as fact, of course. But where would that lead? ...they would dig up your tulip bulbs and sell water from your garden hose as holy. They would flock to your house and turn it into a shrine. The prayers would drive you mad.
* The late '80s teen novel ''A Royal Pain,'' about an American girl who discovers she's the SwitchedAtBirth princess of a fictional foreign country, includes the standard disclaimer. Underneath is a second disclaimer by the main character urging the reader to ignore the first one, because "it really happened. I know. I was there."
* ''Literature/GoMutants'':
-->This book is a work of fiction. The public figures, historical events, and popular entertainments referred to in the text are from a different universe, one with no libel or copyright laws.
* The ''[[TabletopGame/StarDrive Star*Drive]]'' novels subtly parody this with the disclaimer ''"All characters in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons '''or aliens''', living or dead, is purely coincidental."''
* In ''Literature/ThePaleKing'', Creator/DavidFosterWallace points out the paradox of the book being both a memoir and literary fiction in The Author's Foreword, first saying that everything in the book is true, and then pointing out that [[LogicBomb the sentence in which he says that is itself covered by the disclaimer at the beginning of the book]].
* Pseudonymous Bosch:
** In ''You Have to Stop This'', the final book of the ''Literature/SecretSeries'', the disclaimer reads "The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. Of course, you know what they say about good intentions...."
** ''Write This Book: A Do-It-Yourself Mystery'', a later book by Bosch, has a normal version of the disclaimer. There is, however, a label before it reading "Traditional (and absolutely completely totally sincere) disclaimer."
** ''Bad Luck'', which is a title in the SequelSeries to the ''Secret Series'', again has a normal version of the disclaimer. Underneath it, however, it says "''Blah, blah, blah...''"
** ''Bad News'', the final book of the sequel series, has a normal version of the disclaimer, but next to it in italics: "Any resemblance to actual dragons is a different story--a story that the author of this book would very much like to hear." Additionally, on the copyright page, it has "Hachette Book Group supports the right to free expression and value of copyright. The purpose of copyright is to encourage writers and artists to produce creative works that enrich our culture. ''Incidentally, that is also the purpose of chocolate.''"
* ''The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog'' (by Creator/DaveBarry) has this: "Any resemblance to people and circumstances from my childhood in Armonk, NY are, frankly, a baffling coincidence."
* Literature/CaptainUnderpants, in ''The Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman'', had a comic with this disclaimer on the back, "Any [[RougeAnglesOfSatin simalarities]] to real people (living or dead) is very, very [[RougeAnglesOfSatin unforchenate]]."
* The book [[Literature/SimplyWeird Simply Weird: The (fake) History of Weird Comics Incorporated, A (fake) Comic Book Company]] starts this way. It's more or less a joke when the title already says the history present in the book is fake.
* Creator/RobertRankin's ''Raiders of the Lost Car Park'' has such a disclaimer. One of the characters is ''Prince Charles Windsor''. With a train fixation. Complete with him using a train-into-tunnel euphemism with shagging his PA.
* ''In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash'' (the book that served as the basis for ''Film/AChristmasStory'') has this-- "The characters, places, and events described herein are entirely fictional, and any resemblance to individuals living or dead is purely coincidental, accidental, or the result of faulty imagination."
* ''Say, Darling'' by Richard Bissell:
-->As anyone on Broadway can tell you, none of the fictional characters in this novel resembles anybody living or dead on the main stem. They are all too lovable. At any rate, the only place they have ever lived is in the author's imagination.
* ''Barefoot Boy with Cheek'' by Max Shulman has an author's note explaining that "the University of Minnesota is, of course, wholly imaginary," and that "Minnesota" is a [[FromTheLatinIntroDucere combination of two Indian words]] that has little if any meaning.
* [[Literature/TheTalesOfAlvinMaker Red Prophet]] by Orson Scott Card begins with the traditional "any resemblance to real people or events is entirely co-incidental" despite [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tecumseh Tecumseh]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenskwatawa Tenskatawa]] being major characters who do essentially the same things as they did in real life. The book then has a more detailed disclaimer, explaining "This story takes place in an America whose history is often similar to, but often quite different from our own ... In particular, you should be aware that William Henry Harrison ... was a somewhat nicer person than his counterpart in this book."
* All of [[Creator/MercedesLackey Mercedes Lackey's]] Doubled Edge books contain the standard disclaimer, despite most of the human characters and many of the events being straight out of history. Naturally, the scenes that are copied straight from life (such as the scenes of young Elizabeth I being sexually abused) are the most [[RealityIsUnrealistic bizarre]] and [[ValuesDissonance troubling]] to the modern reader.
* ''Literature/GoAskAlice'' is marketed as being the real-life diary of a girl who died due to drug abuse, but was actually a fictional story either written or edited by Beatrice Sparks. [[http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/askalice.asp According]] to ''{{Website/Snopes}}'', however, it plays this trope entirely straight by having this on its copyright page: "This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental."
* In the Author's Note for ''Literature/TheFaultInOurStars'':
-->"This is not so much an author's note as an author's reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago: This book is a work of fiction. I made it up."
* ''At Swim-Two-Birds'' by Flann O'Brien claims as fictional "all the characters represented in this book, including the first person singular."
* The Creator/RosemaryWells picture book ''Otto Runs for President'' makes sure it's covered legally throughout time. "The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person running for office in the past, present, or future is entirely coincidental."
* ''Literature/WetDesertTrackingDownATerroristOnTheColoradoRiver'': The book includes a disclaimer:
-->"This is a work of fiction. Although many of the places referenced in the book are real, some characteristics have been changed to fit the story. Some real and historical characters and events have been included to enhance the story. However, the characters and events in this book are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental."
* The disclaimer used by Creator/LawrenceBlock in ''Ronald Rabbit is a Dirty Old Man'':
-->"All characters in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. The earth is flat."
: :was quite clearly meant to {{lampshade}} tenuous nature of such disclaimers, but it [[MisaimedFandom brought him an invitation]] to join The Flat Earth Society of Canada.[[note]]Which he joined. ([[DontExplainTheJoke It was actually a parodist organisation.]])[[/note]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' has an episode in which an ancient scroll containing this disclaimer for Literature/TheBible is unearthed.
* The video case for ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'s [[YetAnotherChristmasCarol Christmas Carol]]'' states that all characters are fictional and any resemblence to any real person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Except the Awful Screeching Woman, who knows ''exactly'' who she is.
* ''WebVideo/{{Decker}}'': The first televised season of Decker, ''Unclassified'', begins with a black screen stating that "The following events are fititious but well within the realm of possiblity
* ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}'' and ''Series/AdamTwelve'' also did this with the revelation that the events were based on real cases since Jack Webb had a good relationship with the LAPD. It might have been the first, or one of the first, police procedurals to use RippedFromTheHeadlines stories.
* ''Series/SquareOneTV'': The opening spiel of ''Dragnet'' parody ''Mathnet'':
-->The story you are about to see is a fib, but it's short. The names are made up, but the [[MultipleReferencePun problems]] are real.
* Many episodes of shows from the ''Series/LawAndOrder'' franchise begin with the caption "The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event." Some have a modified version: "Although inspired by true events, the following story is fictional." Experienced viewers know that either means "Okay, this story's been RippedFromTheHeadlines. Please don't sue us."
** The series pilot film "Everybody's Favorite Bagman" and the first-season episode "Indifference" both ended with a caption and voice-over pointing out that while the stories were similar to, respectively, a scandal at the Parking Violations Bureau and the child-killing of Lisa Steinberg, both episodes were fictional. (In the latter case, the disclaimer cites specific differences between the real case and the episode.) These remain the only explicit disavowals in the franchise's history.
** In episodes that aren't RippedFromTheHeadlines but show parts of the legal system as corrupt, a modified version specifically stating that the episode is fictional and doesn't actually represent the department and is not meant to imply anything.
* ''Series/TheGoodWife'' had an interesting take on this where a film studio made a movie about a [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Mark Zuckerberg substitute]] internet billionaire and got sued for defamation. If they admit that they intentionally made the guy look bad they are guilty of defamation. If they publicly say that the movie was a work of fiction then the movie loses a lot of its appeal since they based their advertising and ProductPlacement on the fact that it is an accurate depiction of actual events.
* The "Spam" episode of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' begins with FakeOutOpening credits for an epic adventure, mangling the disclaimer to "Any similarity between persons living or dead is coincidental."
* Every episode of ''Series/UnsolvedMysteries'' started out with a warning in (first) an ominous male voice, and on the [[LifetimeMovieOfTheWeek Lifetime]] broadcasts, an equally ominous female voice:
-->This program is about unsolved mysteries. Whenever possible, the actual family members and police officials have participated in recreating the events. What you are about to see is not a news broadcast.
* This disclaimer was suggested on ''Series/MockTheWeek'' while discussing "Unlikely lines to read in Literature/TheBible".
* Meanwhile, ''Series/PennAndTellerBullshit'' referred to Literature/TheBible itself in this way in the closing line of their episode on the subject.
-->"The characters and events depicted in the damn Bible are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead, is purely coincidental."
* Creator/{{ABSCBN}} was [[https://entertainment.inquirer.net/264615/bagani-teleseryes-misuse-of-term-distorts-misleads-and-confuses-filipino-viewers-says-ip-commission forced]] to put up the following disclaimer in the Filipino fantasy series ''Series/{{Bagani}}'' in response to UnfortunateImplications with historical societies and indigenous groups, who took offense at what they deemed to be a misrepresentation of their tribes and the use of the term "Bagani" on a FantasyCounterpartCulture heavily based on pre-colonial Philippine societies:
-->''"Ang kuwentong inyong mapapanood ay kathang-isip lamang at kumuha ng inspirasyon mula sa iba’t ibang alamat at mitolohiyang Pilipino. Ito’y hindi tumutukoy o kumakatawan sa kahit anong Indigenous People sa Pilipinas."'' ("The story you're about to watch is a work of fiction and is inspired by Philippine mythology and folk legends. It does not refer to and is not representative of any Indigenous People in the Philippines.")

* The Music/{{ACDC}} song "Ain't No Fun (Waiting Around To Be A Millionaire)" starts with Bon Scott declaring "The following is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty."

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* The phrase "...any persons living, dead or undead" is also used by the music video for Music/MichaelJackson's ''Thriller'' (which, like ''An American Werewolf in London'', was directed by John Landis).

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Parodied with the disclaimer seen at the beginning of ''Series/CrankYankers'', which gleefully informs viewers that "The calls you are about to hear are real. The names have not been changed. Screw the innocent."

[[folder:Recorded Comedy]]
* Stan Freberg's "St. George And The Dragonet" starts with "the story you are about to hear is true. Only the needle should be changed to protect the record."

* The roleplaying game ''TabletopGame/{{Nephilim}}'' has an interesting disclaimer. One page reads, in all caps, "THIS GAME IS NOT REAL." The next page reads, again in all caps, "YOU ARE."
* All of the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' games had funny disclaimers at the beginning of their books to ward off the Satanic Panic accusations along the lines of "You are not a vampire and if there really was a secret society of vampires, someone would have noticed by now."
* For the ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'':
** The default disclaimer is a less funny "This book uses the supernatural for settings, characters and themes. All mystical and supernatural elements are fiction and intended for entertainment purposes only. This book contains mature content. Reader discretion is advised."
** The ''Inferno'' supplement, detailing demons and the singularly awful means of {{summoning|ritual}} and [[DealWithTheDevil dealing]] with them, has a more pointed reminder that the rituals don't work, demons aren't real, and the book is a work of fiction.
* ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' is set in a "[[MedievalEuropeanFantasy Mythic Europe]]" where, among other things, divine and infernal forces from the Abrahamic religions are demonstrably real and active. In older editions, the books detailing things like the nature of {{Hell}}, the disposition of souls, and the supernatural power of faith have disclaimers that the content is for roleplaying purposes only and its resemblance to real-world beliefs is coincidental.

* ''Theatre/KnickerbockerHoliday'', Epilogue for Stuyvesant:
-->What more remains is but to say\\
All characters and all events\\
Incorporated in our play\\
Are fictional in every way,\\
Nor does one actor here portray\\
The person that he represents.
* ''Louisiana Purchase'' devotes an entire OpeningChorus to a disclaimer explaining that everything in the show is "mythical," including the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used at the beginning of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' (and that game alone), because it was written in 1999, depicted terrorist attacks in New York and [[TooSoon was completed in September 2001]].
** Now incorporated into ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker Peace Walker]]'' as well, mainly to tell audiences that Militaire Sans Frontières (Soldiers without Borders) has exactly zero relationship to the real life charity ''Medecins Sans Frontières'' (''Doctors'' without Borders).
* Can be seen at the beginning of both the English and Japanese versions of the ''[[VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsTheSoullessArmy Raidou]] [[VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsKingAbaddon Kuzunoha]]'' games, perhaps due to the historical([[AlternateHistory ish]]) setting and the use of a few {{Historical Domain Character}}s.
** Almost all the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' games have this disclaimer at the beginning in some form, though they don't use nearly as many historical settings and characters as the ''Devil Summoner'' games do.
** ''VideoGame/Persona5'' plays with this by not only including the disclaimer, but making the player agree to it before starting a new game. If you don't, you get sent back to the start screen. [[spoiler:The message takes on a sinister new meaning with some of the end game reveals by making it clear that the BigBad is the one voicing the message and by accepting, [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou the players agree to reject the existence of the Phantom Thieves]]]].
* Because of the historical and religious implications of the plot of the ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' series, every game takes care to point out that it "was designed, developed and produced by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs".
* Due to the crazy and unfair court system used in ''Franchise/AceAttorney'', the Western version of the game manual contains a disclaimer to the effect of "This game's legal system applies only to the game, and does not reflect any actual legal system." Despite this, it is, in fact, based on the former Japanese court system -- the disclaimer in that region reads more like "This game's court system is exaggerated for entertainment purposes and not intended to be an accurate representation".
* Played with in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}: Ten Desires'' -- "This game is a work of fiction. All characters and organizations that appear have entered Gensokyo." Gensokyo, the setting, is composed of things that people have stopped believing in. And the plot of this game involves this happening a major Japanese historical figure...
* Played straight in the legal screen of ''VideoGame/MafiaII''. As the game was set in a historical era and involved or mentioned organizations such as the Mafia, it would make sense for the developers to say that this isn't a true account of what happened in the mob underworld.
* Subverted in ''Videogame/JulyAnarchy: Prologue'', which manual opens with the following text:
* Inverted with the "[[ShowWithinAShow Twilight Syndrome Murder Mystery]]" in ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'', as Monokuma points out that it is entirely non-fictional, [[spoiler:and, in fact, it apparently involves some of the actual characters, indicating that Koizumi destroyed evidence that would have incriminated her friend as the murderer of Kuzuryuu's sister]].
** Played straight in ''VisualNovel/NewDanganRonpaV3'', which uses a normal example when you boot up the game, albeit an unusual one since no previous game or anime entry in the franchise used it straight before (the Twilight Syndrome Murder Mystery scenario above not-withstanding). [[spoiler: Becomes a rather [[FridgeHorror dark]] peice of Foreshadowing for the final trial, where the message is made quite literal.]]
* ''VideoGame/LANoire'' has the following disclaimer on the back of its box:
-->''This is a fictional story set in 1940s Los Angeles depicting invented and fictionalized historical characters, groups, locations, scenes and events in a manner that is not historically accurate and should not be interpreted to be factual.''
* Appears at the end of ''Videogame/{{Normality}}''. The first half is played straight, reading "The characters portrayed in this game are totally fictitious." The latter half is where it gets snarky and self-aware. "Any resemblance to any persons dead or alive is rather unfortunate and disturbing." This either relates to the early 3D modeling causing an UncannyValley effect with its often grotesque character models, or the characters themselves exhibiting unpleasant behavior.
* A message like this, laced with some subtle NightmareFuel, can pop up at one point in the ''VideoGame/SilentHills'' Playable Teaser.
-->''This game is purely fictitious. [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial It cannot harm you]] [[ParanoiaFuel in any way, shape, or form.]]''
* The in-game description for the Dancing Zombie from ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'' says, "Any resemblance between Dancing Zombie and persons living or dead is purely coincidental." This is probably a joke, since the zombie is obviously [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed based on]] Music/MichaelJackson in his zombie-themed ''Music/{{Thriller}}'' music video. Or at least it was, until the ''real'' Michael Jackson [[FunnyAneurysmMoment died]] a month after the game's release. As a result, the Dancing Zombie was redesigned into a more generic DiscoDan. The disclaimer is still there, though.
* Speaking of ''Thriller'', the ''25th Anniversary Edition'' of ''VideoGame/NightTrap'' seems to use this disclaimer as a ShoutOut to the music video: "The events and characters depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living, dead, or undead, is purely coincidental."
* ''VideoGame/TheDarksideDetective'':
** [=McQueen=] pauses in the middle of telling the life story of the mobster [[UsefulNotes/AlCapone Al Caphoney]] to claim that any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
** The game's end credits include a standard "This is a work of fiction" disclaimer, followed by a couple of paragraphs of worryingly specific clarifications about which aspects of the game are definitely fictional and nothing to be concerned about.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-09-17 Any similarities to any real people living, dead, and/or the opposite gender are entirely coincidental.]] [see [[TheRant commentary]]]
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': Tom Siddell says this, almost word for word, in the annotation for [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=380 this page]] and the one following. However, the the message here is not "''Although this looks like it could have really happened, it didn't.''", but rather "''[[MST3KMantra I KNOW this is impossible! It's a fantasy story, OK?]]''"
* ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}'': "Any names, or persons, illustrated in any of the Sonichu Comics, except that of Christian Weston Chandler, that may seem similar to anyone in real life, are purely coincidental, or otherwise parodic." Considering [[WriteWhoYouKnow how many characters are based on people in the creator's life]], though, this is BlatantLies.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/CartoonDriveThru'''s ''Deadly Space Action'' season two, at the end of each episode:
-->''Any similarity to future historical events is entirely intentional, because we totally called it.''
* ''Website/SCPFoundation'' has gone out of its way to ensure everyone that it's simply a work of fiction, especially in the wake of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slender_Man_stabbing Slender man Stabbing]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' displays this at the beginning of each episode:
-->"All characters and events in this show—even those based on real people—are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated ... [[SelfDeprecation poorly]]. The following program contains coarse language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone."
* The [[CouchGag opening caption]] in the ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode "The Route of All Evil" is "DISCLAIMER: Any resemblance to actual robots would be really cool."
* ''[[WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead Beavis and Butt-Head]]'' had two notable disclaimers at different periods of its series run, the latter essentially a slightly slimmed down version of the former, accompanied by jaunty banjo music:
-->"Beavis and Butt-Head are not real. They are stupid cartoon people completely made up by [[Creator/MikeJudge this Texas guy]] whom we hardly even know. Beavis and Butt-Head are dumb, crude, thoughtless, ugly, sexist, self-destructive fools. But for some reason, the little weinerheads make us laugh."\\
"Beavis and Butt-Head are not role models. They're not even human, they're cartoons. Some of the things they do would cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested, and possibly deported. To put it another way, DontTryThisAtHome."
* WartimeCartoon ''WesternAnimation/BlitzWolf'': "The Wolf in this photoplay is NOT fictitious. Any similarity between this Wolf and that (*!!*%) jerk Hitler is purely intentional!" A postscript adds a rationing joke: "P.S. The tires in this photoplay are fictitious (and we ain't kidding, brother!)"
* The ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoon ''Rocket Squad'', an homage to {{Franchise/Dragnet}}, had the following disclaimer: ''The story you are about to see is true. The drawings have been changed to protect the innocent.''
** ''Daffy Duck and Egghead'' opens with a foreword stating that the ducks depicted are fictitious, and any ducks seen in the picture, "living or roasted, are purely coincidental."
** ''WesternAnimation/PorkyPigsFeat'' has "Any resemblance between this hotel and real hotels, living or dead, is coincidental."
** ''Porky's Road Race'' has the forward: "All the characters in this picture are strictly phony! Any fancied resemblance to any living person is the bunk! Any incident portrayed is pure fiction!"
** ''Porky's Building'' opens with a disclaimer saying that the similarities to actual persons and events is definitely intended ("If you think we're going to sit around for days thinking up new ideas - you're pixilated!").
** ''WesternAnimation/DetouringAmerica'', a 1939 parody of short travelogues, starts with the disclaimer "All states depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual states, either Democratic or Republican, is purely co-incidental."
* ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch'' has the standard disclaimer, but ends it with "Anyway, IT'S JUST CLAY!!!!"
* The WesternAnimation/WoodyWoodpecker short "Under the Counter Spy" opens with the card "The story you're about to see is a big fat lie. No names have been changed to protect anybody."

''[[VideoGame/{{Persona5}} ...I see.]] [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife Everything that happens from here on in is real... Is that your cognition of this?]] [[ButThouMust ...Then unfortunately, I cannot allow you to partake of this website.]] [[http://www.mentalhealth.gov I must ask that you leave...]]''